West Virginia University Professor of Musicology Travis Stimeling is nominated for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s 2021 Momentum Award for Mentor of the Year.
The Mentor Award recognizes those who have made a significant impact on the lives and careers of newcomers to the bluegrass industry. Not limited to bluegrass professionals, candidates may include community musicians, private music teachers, band leaders, bluegrass youth organization coordinators, music producers, luthiers and anyone who has shown dedication to up and coming bluegrass artists and industry professionals.
“It’s an honor to be recognized for the work I’ve been doing to support aspiring bluegrass and old-time musicians, but the real reward is knowing that they carry these traditions forward with great enthusiasm and an ear toward building a more inclusive tomorrow through music,” Stimeling said.
Stimeling, PhD, is the director of WVU Bluegrass and Old-Time Bands on top of his teaching responsibilities. A scholar of commercial country and Appalachian traditional music, he has published numerous books and articles, including such books as “Nashville Cats: Record Production in Music City” (Oxford University Press, 2020), “The Opioid Epidemic and U.S. Culture: Expression, Art, and Politics in an Age of Addiction” (West Virginia University Press, 2020), “Songwriting in Contemporary West Virginia: Profiles and Reflections” (West Virginia University Press, 2018), “Fifty Cents and a Box Top: The Creative Life of Nashville Session Musician Charlie McCoy” (West Virginia University Press, 2017), “The Oxford Handbook of Country Music” (Oxford University Press, 2017), “The Country Music Reader” (Oxford University Press, 2015), and “Cosmic Cowboys and New Hicks: The Countercultural Sounds of Austin's Progressive Country Music Scene” (Oxford University Press, 2011).
In addition to his work as a scholar, Stimeling has also been quite active in service to the profession and the state of West Virginia. He served as a Senior Editor for “The Grove Dictionary of American Music,” 2nd ed. (Oxford University Press, 2013), and he current serves as the book review editor for the “Journal of the Society for American Music” and as series editor for West Virginia University Press’s “Sounding Appalachia” series. He also served on the board of the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame.
“Travis’ dedication to Blue Grass and his students has had a profound affect on how this music is valued in music schools across the country,” said Keith Jackson, dean of WVU’s College of Creative Arts. “He is on the leading edge of advocate-scholars who help us to realize that the music of our region is important, poignant and worthy of study. The students who have benefitted from his mentoring will effect future generations that will now learn about this rich cultural tradition.”
The award announcement will be made at the IBMA World of Bluegrass event in Raleigh, North Carolina on Wednesday, September 29.